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How did you behave towards SO and friends?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by googool, May 30, 2018.

  1. googool

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    I have some questions for the folks here who came out later in life or people who are/were in a LTR with their SO:

    How did you get to know your wife/SO and was she the one who showed interest in you?

    I was also wondering how you acted towards your friends? Did you have any close friends at all? Did some of your friends or colleagues suspect you were gay? Did you kind of "build a wall" around them so they were not able to see through?

    I suspect that most closeted gays are very passive in their relationships with their wifes. What I mean is that she is the one who plans holidays, meetups, organizes social life, etc.
    Do you think this is true?
     
  2. LostInDaydreams

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    My partner was the one that showed interest in me and pushed us towards relationship milestones, i.e. asked me out, said 'I love you' first, etc. Some of them we just fell into, such as living together, but I never felt that need to move beyond just seeing each other three times a week. I was really happy with that, but my partner wasn't.

    I'm not sure how much you can read into this sort of thing. My partner would probably lose contact with his family if I wasn't here to keep in touch for him. He really wants to book up a holiday and he's been going on about it for well over a year now, but I know it'll all fall down to me to organise and I'm really not bothered about a holiday, so I'm leaving it and I know it'll never happen. I've organised all our previous holidays and weekends away.

    However, with bigger things, like a new kitchen or picking out furniture, he's been very involved and proactive, whereas I've been more distant. I see these sorts of things as adding to our life together, so I'm not as willing to be involved and lack enthusiasm. However, I don't mind organising an afternoon with his family or friends. It's quite nice to do something different or meet up with different people.
     
    #2 LostInDaydreams, May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  3. quebec

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    googool.....Hello and welcome to empty closets! Over the years I have been told so many times that I don't fit into any "normal" stereotype. I am a musician and an educator. I taught instrumental music for 41 years. However, I am also a vocalist and have sung/performed the lead in many musicals. I love performing, especially acting and have spent much of my life on stage. However, my Master's Degree is in computer technology and I also dearly love math! I often run both a Windows PC and an Apple MAC desktop at the same time, bouncing back and forth between them. As far as my wife goes...had I not asked her to marry me, she would never have said a word about it. She is actually a very strong-willed person and we do almost everything in our marriage as a team of equals. However, I do all the book work and planning. I finally accepted that I am and always was gay in 2014. Since then every person that I have come out to was shocked and just didn't believe me at first...including my wife. I've never heard anyone say; "I already knew". If there really is a "gay" stereotype....I sure don't fit it in any way. So, yes...I did build a "wall" that no one could see through to the real me. That was so very unwise, as in the end it nearly killed me. I think that gay men are sometimes seen as somewhat effeminate because we have accepted that we do have both a male and a female "side" to our personality. Whereas many cis-male straight men can work pretty hard to emphasize their "manliness". We are all different and while some things seem to be more common in a particular group...not everybody will have those same characteristics.
    .....David :gay_pride_flag:
     
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  4. Peterpangirl

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    I have a handful of good female friends and one good platonic male friend. I like spending time with either gender, but enjoy the company of my own gender best of all in terms of socialising.

    Whilst stereotypes often have their origins in some noticeable features of a particular group, they don't represent the vast range of individuals in that group. Gay people have only one thing in common - that they are attracted to people of their own gender to varying degrees. Other than that, as Quebec says, we are a diverse group and many late in lifers do not appear gay on the outside. For me stereotypes very unhelpfully skewed my understanding of what it meant to be gay because as a feminine woman I saw nobody with whom I identified - indeed I was unattracted and even at times repulsed by the very stereotypical images of gay women in the media, so concluded that I was not attracted to women full stop. Moreover, in the past I chose to be with my husband and assumed heterosexual marriage was somewhere I would be at home. I had no awareness that I am a gay leaning bisexual woman. The other day I met another woman who has recently come out after marriage (and has a child) and is now in a relationship with another woman. Other than the fact that we are both later in lifers and quite feminine in presentation we are very different: she is quite aggressive in her lesbianism and her partner is sort of soft butch in presentation and a lifelong lesbian. My girlfriend is more conventionally feminine in gender presentation in some respects and also newly out. The woman I met swears by her gaydar that she can tell I'm part of the tribe, yet anyone who doesn't know this about me I am fairly sure doesn't suspect that I am.

    However, not one single person who I have come out to reacted by saying that they thought I was all along. As for my gaydar - unless someone has very overt flagging up of their sexuality - I have zero confidence that I can say they are gay, straight or inbetween.
     
    #4 Peterpangirl, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  5. baristajedi

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    I think we all put together our closet in different ways, there's a definite personal logic to it but I'd hesitate to think we have done so in common ways or similar ways to each other, us late lifers. Though of course, some of us may have done similar things.

    In my case I was basically trying without realising it to being in touch with being gay in every way other than acknowledging it to myself and in my sexual and romantic choices in partners. I surrounded myself with queer friends, spent most free time in queer spaces (gay clubs, etc), watched films and read books with gay themes, flirted with women and not with men, fantasised only about women... but I only dated men and never acknowledged I was gay.

    With my partner, he made the first moves in most things but I pushed for marriage. We felt like best friends more than lovers to me and I had deep affection for him but I always knew the chemistry and passion was not there. I don't know why that didn't concern me more.

    When we weren't having sex for a loooooong time after our baby was born, I was online all the time
    looking at women.... still it took me a while before I came out. I was in so much denial.
     
    #5 baristajedi, Jun 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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  6. smee

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    I met my wife when I was out at dinner with a friend. She invited the friend and I to a few movies, road trips and the like. One time, the friend canceled, and that was our first date. Most of women I dated initiated things.

    I recall thinking at the start of some relationships that it was good to have someone who believed in me. In hindsight this seems to point out how badly I didn't believe in myself. It seems as if I was continually stuffing thoughts, calling myself stupid and forcing myself to push through the depression. I did open up a little during while married (at one point our expectations gave way to a level of dialogue), but i went solidly back in the closet during the breakup and divorce.

    I've kept most of my friendships at a distance. In hindsight, while I was in denial I was always afraid of being found out as something less than ideal and I was constantly afraid of doing the wrong thing (Being the son of a craftsman and machinist made this worse, what with the whole "measure once, cut twice" ethic.) I definitely built a wall, and even snapped at my mom when she suggested that I might find a woman "...or a man" to settle down with. I'm still surprised sometimes by how much and how freely people can talk to one another.
     
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